Design students

Duration: 2 years full-time
Start date: July 2017
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 180 credits

This course is now open to applications for 2017 entry.

A unique, transnational Master's design initiative which brings together three major centres of design, culture, enterprise and industry: Europe, North America and Asia.

About the course


Global Innovation Design (GID) is a new joint Master's programme between Imperial and the Royal College of Art.

It is a unique, transnational design initiative which brings together three major centres of design, culture, enterprise and industry: Europe, North America and Asia.

The programme is a world class design collaboration between four internationally-renowned academic institutions. Each partner brings distinct expertise and complementary approaches to design, engineering, technology and business, with an emphasis on internationally-oriented design and innovation.

GID offers a new international style of learning, and unique educational and cultural experiences designed to meet the changing needs of enterprise in the 21st century.

GID Masters students are able to work in three Global locations with partner universities following one of two routes. Students on both routes will start their GID experience in London, then travel on to Asia, spending a term in Tokyo or Beijing. After a summer break, they spend the following term in New York or Singapore, respectively. All students will spend the rest of their second year together at RCA and Imperial College London. Graduates from the programme are expected to be central to innovation leadership in the 21st century.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

The programme is full-time and runs over a period of two calendar years. It offers:

  • A double Master's: MA Royal College of Art and MSc Imperial College London – students are fully enrolled at both institutions
  • Term long study periods in two other global locations with World renowned partner Universities: Keio University in Tokyo, Tsinghua University in Beijing, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore and the Pratt Institute in New York
  • Two initial and two concluding terms in the shared vibrant creative studio at the RCA (all students have their own desk) with access via Imperial to a world leading technology environment
  • A diverse and international mix of students
  • Teaching staff who are highly experienced practitioners and work professionally in their field
  • Potential enterprise and commercialisation support through the InnovationRCA incubator
  • Leadership skills for design-related enterprises operating in international environments
  • High-level graduate destinations: RCA and Imperial alumni work at leadership level in international corporations, global consultancies as well as new self-started commercial enterprises.

Open Days

Structured Open Days are held each academic year, so that you can tour Imperial and the RCA, visit teaching programmes and meet staff and students in the studio. For more details please visit the GID website.

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

The minimum academic requirement is a 2.1 Honours degree or higher in any subject, however you must show aptitude or great potential in the area of design or technology-led innovation. In exceptional circumstances applicants without this degree qualification will be considered (for example, excellent professional experience or outstanding creative or technical abilities).

Applications are welcomed from any qualifying graduate or significantly experienced professional interested in how innovation and design can improve the lives of people, society and the economy at leadership level in international contexts.

The application process and entrance examination (see below) is administered by the Royal College of Art (RCA).

Entrance exam part 1: Candidates must submit a portfolio of work. See the RCA's website for guidance on the portfolio.

Entrance exam part 2: Selected applicants are invited for an interview (by Skype if needed) with staff and a student representative and to participate in a creative exercise.

Read the entry requirements for this course in full before you apply. Application is via the RCA's online application system.

English language requirements

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

Fees and funding

The fee for the MA/MSc Global Design Engineering is set by the Royal College of Art. Enquiries should be made to the RCA directly on

Students on this programme pay tuition fees direct to the RCA. In addition to the standard RCA postgraduate masters fee this programme is subject to a supplementary fee (£2,000 pa) because of the higher costs involved in delivering a programme in three countries.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

All applicants must apply online.

You apply directly to the Royal College of Art (RCA) who jointly deliver this course with Imperial College.

There is information on how to apply available on the RCA website.

We advise that you apply as soon as possible and check the RCA website for information on the closing date of this course to avoid disappointment.

ATAS Certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.